Throughout history, there have been technological moments when you can feel a shift. Moments when you know a discovery or innovation is going to change the industry, and in some cases, the world as we know it.
Going back centuries you might think of Johannes Gutenberg inventing the printing press in 1455, James Watt creating the steam engine in 1765 or Alexander Graham Bell designing the first telephone in 1876. In more modern times, the first computer sprang to life in 1937 and both the personal computer and the internet came to be in 1974. There are more of these instances, of course, but what stands out to me is the pace of change.
In the past it took years, if not decades, to see the next development. Nowadays, we’re seeing innovations happen faster and faster. And more often than not, if you are slow to adopt new technology, you will get left behind. We saw this happen with open source software, cloud computing and automation, and now we’re seeing it with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
However, this doesn’t mean abandoning what you’ve worked so hard to achieve already. The next generation of technologies like AI need to mesh seamlessly with what already runs your business. We need innovation that moves us forward but doesn’t delete our present.
AI has reached the tipping point and we cannot ignore it. Instead, we need to decide how, where and WHY we will harness it and use it to further our organizations. This week, we explored this on the main stage at Red Hat Summit.
From where I sit, this is one of the most exciting moments to be in technology. Advancements which sounded like science fiction mere decades ago are now commonplace. AI has moved from the obscurity of academia to the ubiquity of ChatGPT. It’s also moved from a tool that was only accessible to the few to a movement that is now powered and utilized by the masses. Combining the impact and collaborative nature of open source with the potential of AI will enable us to solve the world’s problems more effectively and more quickly than we ever dreamed possible.
We are only limited by our creativity. The ingenious element of AI is that it does not need to be one thing for everyone. Each of us needs to analyze how we use it for our businesses and for our industries. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, none of us can ignore AI as a driver for change. We have the opportunity to embrace this moment and be a part of shaping the future.
Despite the excitement that exists with AI, I recognize that there are conflicting truths that we are all faced with. First, we are being asked to do more with less. That’s a common challenge in IT, but today, it’s ironclad - less headcount, fewer tools or reduced budget. And second, we’re also being asked to continue to drive innovation to scale - adjust resources quickly, meet changing demand or grow to new footprints. While addressing these seemingly incompatible needs can be daunting, the biggest mistake any of us can make is to hunker down and attempt to maintain what we have instead of pushing for growth and development. Even though it is difficult to coalesce, now is the moment to drive forward. Try something new, change our processes, and disrupt the status quo.
At Red Hat Summit, that’s what we are encouraging - change. Not just for the sake of it, but to help drive an innovation moment for YOUR business. Maybe it will be built around Event-Driven Ansible, where you’re able to free an IT team to open up new revenue streams. Or maybe you’ll adopt Red Hat Trusted Software Supply Chain, and be able to push innovation even faster while retaining resiliency to supply chain vulnerabilities.
What we present with Ansible Lightspeed and Red Hat OpenShift AI may be what you need to build your moment. The promise of domain-specific AI, in this case for IT automation, or a standardized foundation for consistent AI/ML model training could let you break into the benefits of AI that works for YOUR organization.
We don’t know what the future holds - not even ChatGPT-3 is precognitive yet. This doesn’t mean that we can’t anticipate what challenges we may be facing in the coming months and years. To prepare, we can shore up our resources and simplify - distilling our work to focus on what matters the most and what will drive you forward to your moment of innovation.
About the author
Matt Hicks was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat in July 2022. In his previous role, he was Executive Vice President of Products and Technologies where he was responsible for product engineering for much of the company’s portfolio, including Red Hat® OpenShift® and Red Hat Enterprise Linux®. He is one of the founding members of the OpenShift team and has been at the forefront of cloud computing ever since.